What to CookGazpacho

Early Summer Gazpacho

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Vegan lunches can -- and should -- be a lot more interesting than bare salads or carrot sticks and hummus. New Veganism columnist Gena Hamshaw will be sharing inspiration for midday meals that stave off both hunger and boredom.

Today: A bright summer lunch for those days when you can't bear to turn the oven on. 

We’re officially entering that time of year where turning on the oven -- or even the stove -- for lunch feels inconceivable, and the appeal of a blended meal is stronger than ever. This week marked my first annual batch of gazpacho, and I’m still savoring the leftovers.

More: Feeling inspired? Turn your gazpacho into salad

I’ll confess, I take a pretty non-traditional approach to gazpacho-making: I don’t care much for onions or garlic, so I typically leave them out, and I often omit the bread that’s called for in gazpacho, too. My standard variation involves 2 parts tomato to 1 part cucumber, chopped. Then I blend them up with sea salt, black pepper, lemon, a touch of sherry vinegar, a small amount of avocado, and some good olive oil (usually about 2 tablespoons), along with enough water to get the consistency I want. Voilà: a perfect lunch in a bowl.

For a heartier meal, I either top it with chopped vegetables, herbs, and avocado, or I serve it with some simple grains or legumes. I’ve got my eye on some non-traditional gazpachos for later this summer, including strawberry gazpacho and cucumber gazpacho. We’ll see how it goes.

Photo by Gena Hamshaw

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Tags: Vegetable, Lunch, Back to School, Summer, Vegan, Not Sad Desk Lunch, Gena Hamshaw